Dream Stalkers by Tim Waggoner (Shadow Watch #2)

This is the second book in the Shadow Watch series. I haven’t yet read the first book Night Terrors, but it took me a while to realise that Dream Stalkers wasn’t the first in the series. Although whilst reading Dream Stalkers I didn’t feel confused or lost when events from the past were mentioned, as Dream Stalkers was such an enjoyable read, it also means that I still get to read Night Terrors whilst I wait for the next book to be released.

Dream Stalkers is about the relationship between Audra and Jinx, who are agents of the Shadow Watch. The Shadow Watch is there to protect humanity from the Maelstrom. In this reality some humans are able to dream their nightmares into the world; these people are known as Ideator’s. Audra created Jinx, a psychotic clown with a love of chaos and destroying things. The nightmares that are created by Ideator’s are known as the collective term Incubi.

Audra and Jinx still have issues when it comes to their relationship both at work and personal as they work on boundaries. This becomes more of an issue in this book as Audra and Jinx start to experience blending. This is where the minds of an Ideator and their Incubus will switch between their bodies without any warning.  This leads Audra and Jinx into a lot of dangerous, yet hilarious comic situations. Although Audra and Jinx go to lengths to hide the fact that they are blending from their boss, they do also learn to effectively communicate and work together as a unit.

Incubus have two aspects; their day form when they are on Earth in daylight hours, this helps them be less easily noticed by the normal human population, but also means that the Incubus will not be at full strength. In an Incubi’s night aspect they truly become themselves and have access to their full powers. When they are in Nod Incubus always have their true form as they are closer to the Maelstrom.

Audra and Jinx are on a new case to find out who is supplying Shuteye, a drug that has caused in some cases a loss of sanity, as well as fatalities that affects both humans and Incubi. Audra and Jinx have been working on stopping Shuteye since they were recruited to the Shadow Watch, which has left them feeling powerless against a drug operation that has barely any leads. Their investigation has also been made harder as both Audra and Jinx are more recognizable agents after an earlier attempt to reshape reality.

On the hunt for the makers of Shuteye, Audra and Jinx are helped by friends and foes alike, as well as showing us more of Nod on their journey. Among their companions is Russell a friend and potential love interest of Audra’s. Russell is another Ideator; his Incubus is Bloodshedder a hell beast in her night aspect, who is indistinguishable from a dog in her day aspect. Corrine is another ally who helps Audra and Jinx with rides when needed in Corrine’s Incubus the Deathmobile which you may have guessed is a ghostly car. It must be hard to have relationships with other people when your closest bond is with your Incubus. Incubi can come in any imaginable form, they are not dependent on being human formed or male/female they are only limited by the imagination of their Ideator.

For the fact that this is a book about nightmares, this is a really comic story and the world felt fully imagined. There are a lot of concepts to get your head around, but if you enjoy urban fantasy then I would recommend this series. It is quite fast paced, but I found that there was enough going on without the plot feeling bloated. Where Audra and Jinx go from here, I cannot say, but I figure it will be one hell of a crazy intense journey. I leave you with the thought: If you were an Ideator what Incubus would you create? I know that mine would be terrifying!

8/10 For the fact that this is a book about nightmares, this is a really comic story.

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